Right to die

Waikato Times - - Opinion -

Read­ing your ar­ti­cle on Dr Ian Gwyn­neRob­son (De­cem­ber 3) made me an­gry.

First, do no harm, how much emo­tional harm does he think is done when a pa­tient is be­ing forced to suf­fer when they just want it to end? Also the suf­fer­ing of those watch­ing them suf­fer­ing? Be­ing given a di­ag­no­sis of a ter­mi­nal ill­ness does not make you a vul­ner­a­ble per­son. I have been there and if some­one de­scribed me as vul­ner­a­ble I would have been in­sulted.

I was strong and stub­born, and hav­ing an ill­ness did not mean I could no longer think for my­self.

I was fully aware of what was hap­pen­ing to me, and had I reached the point where, if legally avail­able, I would have asked for as­sis­tance to die.

It is ac­knowl­edged around the world that pal­lia­tive care can­not re­lieve all pain.

His su­pe­rior at­ti­tude shows that he would rather see peo­ple refuse food and wa­ter, and die painfully over 1-4 weeks. Should my cancer re­turn I would refuse to be put un­der Hospice care due to their re­fusal to ac­knowl­edge an in­di­vid­ual’s right to de­cide for them­selves.

Es­ther Richards, Tau­ranga

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